Friday, September 2, 2011

A Lovely Labor Day

Image: Google
Hello Optimists,

This weekend gives us an extended break here in the U.S. for the celebration of Labor Day. Though this day has been dedicated to celebrating the social and economic achievements of American workers, we also use this time to mark the last of our summer celebrations and the start of a new school year for those that are still studying. This is one of the last-chance efforts to head to the beach, host a cook out or lounge by the pool with an "umbrella drink" in hand.

A day off from work is usually a welcomed vacation, and Labor Day should be spent doing nothing other than relaxing and resting from our "labors", whether those are in the office or at home. I think it's good to take some time to rest and unwind once in a while, and I'm sure glad our government thinks so too. 

I have read numerous studies about the benefits of regular vacation time and about the ill benefits of overworked employees whose long hours at the office leave them unproductive and inefficient in the long run. Unfortunately, I think this plagues a lot of American workers, and our less-than average vacation times combined with our overtime hours in the office account for our ever-present rushed and hustled lifestyles. But that's what we're accustomed to, so when a break like Labor Day comes around, we hardly know what to do with ourselves.

According to this article, vacations promote creativity, stave off burnouts, keep us healthy, promote overall well-being, can strengthen bonds, help with job performance, and relieve stress. Now those are some great perks!

If you're like most Americans fighting the urge to do something "productive" on Labor Day, remember this quote and think twice how it can affect your output.
Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.  ~Ovid
I just love this one, and it's quite true. The reason for a federal holiday like Labor Day is so that we can go back to work refreshed and ready to go after a short "breather" from our otherwise hectic workweeks. 

We are always striving to be the best, to produce the best, to make sure that we're on top of our game, but if we don't take time to rest, we will probably never be at the top of our game. We all need time to unwind, so please, take this extended weekend and just do nothing that pertains to your usual job. I'm sure, if nothing else, that will put a smile on your face!

Have a lovely Labor Day!

Keep Smiling,


  1. One of the advantages I have at my current day job is that I've been there for SO long now that I get SO much vacation time. I ONLY work three weeks a month from April to October EVERY year.

    Don't get me wrong. I LOVE my job and I couldn't or wouldn't dream of doing anything else, but as you said getting time off helps ward off burnout.

    Thank you for the reminder, Vanessa!

  2. I hope you had a great celebration and took the advice of Ovid yourself.

  3. This is a timely post...I recently heard statistics given by Fareed Zakaria on CNN citing that the United States is very far down the list of the number of paid vacation days given to workers. Europe seems to encourage vacation much more then the US. I am retired now and own my time and it is a joy! But I recall feeling so driven in my career that I often didn't give myself "permission" to take time off. Ovid is correct!

  4. @Chris: You are very lucky to have such an ideal work schedule! I am glad to hear you love what you do...that's the key!

    @Linda: Thanks for your comment...I did my best to enjoy the holiday and relax!

    @Patricia: Thank you for stopping by and leaving your thoughts on this post. Europe does it right with vacation time and I think the US can learn something from them in that department! I think we all need some time to unwind...glad you are now finding time to do so.


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